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Old 08-23-2012, 06:49 AM   #1
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Amount of movement with jacks down?

Hi, Everyone -

How much movement do you all get in the coach when level with jacks down and slides out? This is only our first time out, but it feels quite a bit more than our previous TT, especially when someone is walking around inside the coach. Not sure if this is normal, or if something is off...

For extra reference, we are parked on a flat paved site, which to the eye looks very level. We have 2x10 inch boards under each jack pad. Also, we manual-leveled our jacks (since the "auto level" button kept taking a front tire off the ground for some reason). The regular bubble level says we're level all the way around, but it feels wiggily...

Thanks!
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:04 AM   #2
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While it is annoying, it is normal for some wiggle. Even though you have the jacks down, you still have the majority of the MH's weight on the chassis suspension, and this is what is allowing for the wiggle. Unless you have all 6 wheels off the ground , using jacks (which you should never do) you are going to have some wiggle.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:38 AM   #3
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Agree with Benny, a little wiggle is normal, but it shouldn't be enough to be worrisome. And remember, there is a difference between level and stable. If you could put all jacks down another inch, you would definitely see some improvement in stability.
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:05 AM   #4
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Agree with Benny, a little wiggle is normal, but it shouldn't be enough to be worrisome. And remember, there is a difference between level and stable. If you could put all jacks down another inch, you would definitely see some improvement in stability.
And I agree also, but since we are told to not actually lift with jacks, we (I) get a little paranoid that I might be raising a wheel a bit to much to make level yet also presenting a more stable position I prefer. So, is it OK by "RV standards" to go that extra inch to add stablity to a level position? I like to think it is alright, don't you?

As OP, I am learning too. In fact, I know it is the correct thing to do, but often wonder why it is better to air down first which means (I think) that you have set chassis down on empty bag for rest, then you just use jacks to level, possibly not even picking up much off of deflated bag. Maybe I do not put enough trust in six year old bags or see the real picture. Much is still a mystery, but I'm enjoying the learning process. Bill
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:39 AM   #5
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Sure run them down a bit more and you will feel them "steady" the coach a bit more. I sit in my drivers seat to level and when I raise the front I just rock a little back and forth and I can tell. Don't over do it, moderation in everything is a good place to start. You will get used to the "best" setting for you.

These things are funny. After owning our coach for about a year we had some friends spend the night with us. They own a boat. In the morning they said "why does this rock so much when the jacks are down"? Oh the irony I thought. My wife and I did not feel a thing.

Same is true in reverse when we are on their boat we feel it they do not.

You will adapt.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:00 PM   #6
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When I extend the jacks to do a minor level job, leaving the air in the bags, I find that the jacks are carrying only a portion of the weight of the coach. The air bags are carrying most of it. I notice quite a bit of wiggle then.

When I drain the air from the air bags, then lift the coach up on the jacks to level, I notice a lot less wiggle. I speculate this is because all of the weight of the coach is then being carried by the jacks.

I did have one jack that was wiggling sideways. I found that the mounting bolts to the frame were loose. I replaced those bolts and the wiggle was fixed.
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Old 08-23-2012, 02:08 PM   #7
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I don't have a choice on the air bags. When I deploy the jacks they automatically deflate. My personal opinion is that the more you have to extend the jacks, the more wiggle you will feel. My thoughts on this is that you are extending the jacks to a longer stroke and they are bound to have a little play in them. Take a stick of 1/2 inch diameter about 1 foot long, put on end on the ground and push on it a little from the other end. Then take the same diameter stick 3 feet long and do the same thing. Most likely the 3 foot stick will bend or "wiggle a little. I'm just giving an example of my thinking, I know the jacks are steel, and also all jacks are not the same diameter, it is just something that I seem to experience with our MH.

Happy trails.
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:25 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by go6car View Post
Hi, Everyone -

How much movement do you all get in the coach when level with jacks down and slides out? This is only our first time out, but it feels quite a bit more than our previous TT, especially when someone is walking around inside the coach. Not sure if this is normal, or if something is off...

For extra reference, we are parked on a flat paved site, which to the eye looks very level. We have 2x10 inch boards under each jack pad. Also, we manual-leveled our jacks (since the "auto level" button kept taking a front tire off the ground for some reason). The regular bubble level says we're level all the way around, but it feels wiggily...

Thanks!

Is your system a 3 or 4 point system? I see some of the new rigs with a 3 point system and wonder how that works for stability.
Our old Newmar uses 4 jacks and with the air bags deflated, I start with the rear jacks until I feel a rise and then go to the front and raise them to level the rig. Took a little practise but now I can almost judge when it is level without looking at a level. Once leveled, we don't feel any significant amount of bounce. Maybe we are just used to it.
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:36 PM   #9
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3 point theory.. 3 points determine a plane so in theory it should be stable.

NOTE: some 4-jack systems are really 3 point (Front jacks are connected together so they teeter totter)

Suggestion.. Run the RV up on blocks say six inches or so if you can (4.5 works for a neighbor of mine) make sure all wheels are fully supported (I use 2x10s under each wheel myself) and run the jacks out fully, let them sit a second or 10, then retract, like 5 times. (Power gear says 3) Check fluid level in jack tank every time you retract, Add if needed.

This (in thory) will purge air from the lines.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:29 PM   #10
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And I agree also, but since we are told to not actually lift with jacks, we (I) get a little paranoid that I might be raising a wheel a bit to much to make level yet also presenting a more stable position I prefer. So, is it OK by "RV standards" to go that extra inch to add stablity to a level position? I like to think it is alright, don't you?
What jack system do you have that you can't use to level the unit?

We have HWH, each ram is rated for 12,000#'s and we have four of them. We can easily raise the unit and keep it there although you should never raise the rear wheels off the pavement as that's where you parking brakes are and you could roll. I did it once, and the rig went sideways, luckily I was far enough away from the telephone pole but I sure thought I had bent the frame!! Turns out the HWH jacks have a pivot so they just shifted sideways.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:35 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by dennis45 View Post
Is your system a 3 or 4 point system? I see some of the new rigs with a 3 point system and wonder how that works for stability.
Our old Newmar uses 4 jacks and with the air bags deflated, I start with the rear jacks until I feel a rise and then go to the front and raise them to level the rig. Took a little practice but now I can almost judge when it is level without looking at a level. Once leveled, we don't feel any significant amount of bounce. Maybe we are just used to it.
Our even older DSDP also has the four HWH jacks as did our previous 2000 DSDP.
Depending on what I need I will put the jacks on the low side/end down till they contact the wood blocks I put under the pads, then let the air out, then finish leveling.
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:27 AM   #12
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Note also.. Where I'm at now when I went to level I found my jacks are dead.. (I have already designed the work around, just a matter of getting the parts to override the dead control unit).

So I grabbed my big (12 ton) Air/hydraulc jack, Some lumber and the air compressor and hose, Picked the house up with the jack and lowered the jack pads onto my stair-steps (lumber I normally put under tires to pre-level) Worked great.

I droped a 4x4 by about 12 to 16 inches under the bottle jack.

IT sank at least 2 1/2 inches into the gravel as I jacked up the house .

Even if you get it down and stable... Ground can give way.

By the way THIS is why I do not like the idea of supports under slideouts that some suggest... If the rig "Settles" you are messed up big time.

One park I stay at (Winter quarters) they paved many of the sites with ashphalt. There are nice jack pad size holes where the jacks on big class A's punched right through the pavement.
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:35 AM   #13
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I don't have a choice on the air bags. When I deploy the jacks they automatically deflate. My personal opinion is that the more you have to extend the jacks, the more wiggle you will feel. My thoughts on this is that you are extending the jacks to a longer stroke and they are bound to have a little play in them. Take a stick of 1/2 inch diameter about 1 foot long, put on end on the ground and push on it a little from the other end. Then take the same diameter stick 3 feet long and do the same thing. Most likely the 3 foot stick will bend or "wiggle a little. I'm just giving an example of my thinking, I know the jacks are steel, and also all jacks are not the same diameter, it is just something that I seem to experience with our MH.

Happy trails.

I noticed this last weekend. I typically dump then level. This time I wanted the coach sitting higher and didn't dump the air. I noticed way more wiggle but just attributed it to the suspension still carrying weight. I thought it was odd, because I still raised the coach above the normal ride height but I didn't put anymore thought into it. After reading this the light bulb went on. I would say you are on point Wayne. I will do some experimenting now!
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:24 AM   #14
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Is your system a 3 or 4 point system? I see some of the new rigs with a 3 point system and wonder how that works for stability.
Our old Newmar uses 4 jacks and with the air bags deflated, I start with the rear jacks until I feel a rise and then go to the front and raise them to level the rig. Took a little practise but now I can almost judge when it is level without looking at a level. Once leveled, we don't feel any significant amount of bounce. Maybe we are just used to it.


We have 4 jacks (assuming this is what is meant by a "four point system"?). No air bags, as we're in a gasser.

The leveling system seems to want to really take us up too high to level on some pretty flat/level ground, where in actuality we don't need them to deploy all that much to actually get us level. I wonder if it's possible to have the system "reset" somehow. I didn't see anything in my owners manual, but I'm going to look into this a bit more. Anyone know if this is possible?
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